Your entire home should be a retreat that’s warm and cozy in the cold months and cool and comfortable in the summer. However, residents in some two-story homes find the upper floor is stubbornly hotter or colder than the main floor.
This could merely be because most thermostats in a house are on the ground floor, which is where people spend the greatest amount of time—in the living room, kitchen, etc.—so they set the temperature according to how it feels on the first floor.
However, temperature variations between the upstairs and downstairs could also be due to trouble with your HVAC system. Some of these difficulties can be sorted out relatively quickly while others might require more extensive and costly fixes. Here, the professionals at Strine's will help you determine why the upstairs of your home is hotter than downstairs, or vice versa.
Why Is My Upstairs So Hot?
The phenomenon of the upstairs of a two-story home becoming hotter than the downstairs can be chalked up to several factors. For starters, heat rises, so it’s common for the second floor of a home to get hotter than the first floor. Lack of insulation in the attic or roof can worsen this problem by letting heat transfer from the roof into the upstairs rooms.
Another common reason is that the air conditioning is not big enough to cool the entire home, causing it to fight to cool the upstairs effectively.
To address these issues, homeowners could install extra insulation in the attic and make sure their home has sufficient ventilation. If there’s a possibility the AC is the ideal size for the home, call an experienced HVAC company like Strine's inspect the unit. A qualified professional also can help select a unit that's better suited for your home if you are considering air conditioning installation or replacement.
Why Is My Upstairs So Cold/Not Heating?
When the downstairs of your home is warm, but it’s very cold upstairs, that could result in a frosty night for anyone whose bedrooms are on the upper floor. The most frequent explanations for an upstairs not heating like it is supposed to are the insulation levels and the ductwork.
Inadequate insulation permits cold air to seep through the home’s attic or walls and contribute to heat loss, resulting in colder temperatures on higher floors. It’s important to make sure your home has a thick, level layer of insulation in the attic and appropriate insulation in the walls to keep the cold out and the heat inside.
The ductwork in a home plays a critical role in distributing conditioned air throughout different areas of the building. However, troubles with the ductwork can result in the upstairs being colder than the lower floor. A frequently reported explanation for this is improper airflow balance. The ducts may not be the right size or in the appropriate layout, resulting in an uneven distribution of air between the floors. This can cause more warm air to flow downstairs, causing insufficient airflow—which is the heated air—on the upper story.
Another possible issue with the ductwork is the layout of the supply and return vents. If there are fewer vents on the upper level or they are not correctly positioned, it can limit air circulation and cause substandard heating or cooling. Additionally, leaks or gaps in the ductwork can allow air loss, reducing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system and making the temperature difference more pronounced.
To figure out why the upstairs is colder than the downstairs, homeowners should hve their ductwork inspected by experienced experts like the team at Strine's to identify any imbalances, leaks or inadequacies. Sealing leaks and installing additional vents or adjusting existing ones can help increase airflow and ensure a more even temperature balance between the upstairs and downstairs.
How You Can Fix a Hot or Cold Upstairs?
If your upstairs is hotter or colder than the lower floors of your house, an HVAC zoning system could be a useful solution.
An HVAC zoning system breaks the residence into distinct zones, which each have their own thermostat and damper system so the homeowner can control the heating or cooling of each zone.
This system can be very beneficial in instances where the upstairs of a multi-story home is too hot or really cold while the main floor is comfortable. By implementing a zoning system, homeowners can manage the temperature independently in each zone, making it possible for them to address specific hot or cold spots easily.
To learn more about an HVAC zoning system in York, call Strine's. We’ve designed and installed customized home comfort plans for many community members and are happy to show how an HVAC zoning system could benefit your home.
Why Is My Upstairs So Humid?
In addition to the upper story being hotter or colder than the rest of the house, another problem in multi-floor homes is when the upstairs is more humid than the lower level.
A typical reason for excess upper floor humidity is inadequate ventilation on the upper floor, which can result in greater humidity levels. As is often the case with temperature differences between floors, insufficient insulation or sealing in the attic or walls may permit warm, humid air from outside infiltrate the upstairs rooms. In addition, if there are any leaks or plumbing concerns on the upper floor, that can also create excessive moisture in that level of a home.
To deal with humidity problems, homeowners can improve ventilation by installing fans or opening windows to promote airflow. Proper insulation in the attic and better sealing the attic and walls can help prevent external moisture from entering the upstairs. Identifying and repairing any leaks or plumbing issues is also critical.
Depending on the levels of moisture found in the home, a whole-home dehumidifier could be another helpful tool to manage humidity on the upper and lower floors.